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Bhutto is open to working with Musharraf

world Updated: Dec 15, 2007 12:40 IST

In a turnaround from her earlier stand, former Pakistan Premier Benazir Bhutto has said it is still possible for her to work with President Pervez Musharraf in future if the January 8 Parliamentary polls are held in a free and fair manner.

The Pakistan People's Party (PPP) Chairperson, who had previously vowed not to work in any future dispensation under Musharraf, said she might still find it possible to cooperate with the President but this will depend on what happens in the general election.

"It's very difficult to say anything on this matter at this stage," she told 'Voice of America' in an interview.

"A lot will depend on the elections themselves and what the mood of the people is following the elections, because if the elections are rigged, it's going to put Musharraf on a confrontation course with the opposition parties," said Bhutto, who has repeatedly claimed that the ruling PML-Q will rig the polls.

She said Musharraf could still surprise people by conducting an honest election though she believed that is a "remote possibility".

"At the moment the situation is not conducive to fair elections within Pakistan," she said. "But certainly Musharraf has taken some steps that surprised many people, including me. And that included retiring as Chief of Army Staff.

"So if he surprises us all by having a fair election, that will be very welcome. But the way things are going today, that would be a very big surprise."

Musharraf has completed preparations to lift the emergency he imposed on November 3.